All About valeria_victrix
Horace: "Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus." [Mountains will labour: what's born? A ridiculous mouse!]
Mass Effect 3 has an ending that is so astonishingly bad I was literally stunned. I have to say that it came as a complete surprise to me - I expected something of the same level of quality as ME1 and ME2. Not even close.
When I was halfway through the game my best friend called me. "OMG you're going to hate the ending!" The game was pretty good up until that point, so I assumed he was overreacting. If anything he was understating the case.
The most critical failure was the completely canned (scripted) nature of the end. Throughout all three games we are beset with difficult choices: Destroy the genophage, kill this or that person, save Ashley or Kaiden, etc., etc., ad infinitum. These were moral and life or death choices that we agonized over before making. And then, at the ending, not a single choice mattered for squat. You get the exact same sketchy ending battle, the exact same pointless final scene, the exact same three stupid choices, and the exact same short, confusing ending cutscene no matter what choices you made.
What appalling dreck.
The next colossal failure was the utterly nonsensical end story. So truly bizarre that I was speechless after suffering through it. Here is the best way to describe it:
"A glowing leprechaun appears out of nowhere, says 'I created the Reapers!', provides reasons for this that simultaneously make no sense whatsoever and contradict everything we've learned over three games, and then says, 'Well, I've been doing this for a million years or so, but hey, I like you, so go ahead and blow them all up if you want to - the switch is over there. And oh, by the way, you're going to die.'"
After playing the game through to the end, there are really only two questions going through my mind.
(1) Why do some people seem to like it so much? I have to admit I'm at a loss for an answer to that. On paper I have to admit that the game - element by element - is overall high quality. No bugs, the graphics and sound are good, the voice acting is good, etc. But the ending is so bloody painful that it overshadows all of that. Much like a flaming crash at the end of a flight outweighs getting upgraded to first class.
(2) How did this disaster occur? Lack of management oversight? Lack of playtesting? Arrogance on the part of the developers? Change in leadership? Diversion of resources to SWTOR? Maybe a perfect storm of all of these? Some people have suggested that EA somehow caused this. I find it hard to believe that EA called down one day and said, "We want you to screw up the ending, alienate our fans and embarrass the company."
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